I recently inspected a part time lake residence where the septic system was 9 years old. The owner stated they had never had the tank pumped and since they used the house infrequently, they didn’t think it needed to be pumped.
I told my buyer client I thought it would be a good idea to have the owner pump it and offered to go back and observe it when they did since the buyers were three hours away.
I was amazed at what we found:
- 1200 gallon two compartment tank: 800 gallons main, 400 secondary.
- main tank was roughly half full with secondary tank almost empty
- main tank appeared to have almost no sludge and very little toilet paper present
- The riser at the baffle showed no evidence of flow from the main tank to the secondary tank (see attached photo)
The tank pumper, who is very experienced and thought of highly in the community, said he sees this a lot with seasonal residences that don’t get a lot of use.
I asked him if the tank might be leaking but said it was not. The tank was doing its job by the sludge taking care of itself through normal bacterial action and the house vent system evaporating the liquid at a rate only slightly lower than the rate of flow into the system.
I found this interesting and wonder if any one else has run across this.